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MIT Has Predicted that Society Will Collapse in 2040

  • Published on Nov 25, 2021
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Comments • 13 748

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  • Sean Whearty

    Hey guys. If we work really hard, we can achieve that goal by 2030

  • Faethe
    Faethe  +2

    My experience is that there's never been a group of science types as bad at prediction as economists.

  • Michael McGrath

    I was 20 when the Limits to Growth was published. I really did not expect our civilisation to endure until today. I am constantly gobsmacked at how résiliant and innovative humans are, but I’m not encouraged by the general ambivalence and ignorance of our world “leaders”. I’ll be ninety by 2040, if I’m lucky. I’m much more concerned for my children and grandchildren’s future. As they say, “There is no planet B.”

  • TheSoundOfBand Instrumental
    TheSoundOfBand Instrumental 28 days ago +664

    "Here you go, have an ad."

  • Tony Jones

    I liked the "apartment vs. castle" statement. I visited the main ruins of a castle in Germany and, until the guide mentioned it, it never occurred to me just how COLD those joints got in the winter...

  • An Old Man and his HPV
    An Old Man and his HPV 14 days ago +219

    I was at MIT economics at the time, and I met Prof Forester several times. You have to remember that the 70s were a time of huge commodity price increases. Many people, not just economists, extrapolated this out to mean that we would eventually run out of things. Later this became known as "peak oil" etc.I remember one paper that said we would soon run out of copper because the minimum minable grade was assumed to be 0.1%.

  • General Kenobi

    "So basically yeah the world is ending. Sponsored by Skillshare!"

  • Alëy Oakenshield

    One Mistake: Kings in wealthy nations during medieval times never ate cholera infested food. They also had enough servants for hot baths, fresh clothes, lit fireplaces in every room, or any other services you need. Obviously there were other problems (like their doctors still only knowing a fraction of what they do today).

  • Matt Greene
    Matt Greene Day ago +91

    There's a book called Fates Of Empires by Sir John Glubb in which he studied lots of failed societies, and found a pattern. We're just following along the cycle he discovered. One reason he mentions for this that the OP didn't mention....was that history is not truthfully taught. Since we constantly revise history, we can't escape the cycle.

  • Tigerpirro
    Tigerpirro 16 hours ago +17

    So we have about 20 years to fix enough for society to continue in a non "mad max" type scenario?

  • ExoHive
    ExoHive  +9

    So with the business as usual scenario, we would have to address pollution, consider automation in some parts of the industrial economy, increase food production by fully utilizing certain areas (I.e. vertical farming/hydroponics vs traditional farming methods) etc. it’s possible but not everyone is willing to put Billions upon Billions of dollars into this despite it most likely to have generous returns eventually.

  • Awoken Entertainment

    Crazy how ACs and heaters, something most take for granted these days, makes such a difference that most would choose the apartment over the castle... Perspective 🤯

  • Investment Joy

    Would love to see a comparison of the various economic doomsday theories of the 50s-80s and see how they've fared. I remember hearing my parents and their friends talking about them in the early 90s, and yet here we are.

  • Theophilus Jedediah

    What is the more frightening idea than the our civilization coming to and end is the fact that there are many in government working actively towards this goal.

  • The Smith of Lies

    "As soon as humanity's back is against the wall..." the reactions to COVID and anthropogenic climate change seem to show that even if the innovation is there, the support for it and wide adoption is not guaranteed by a long shot.

  • Brian M
    Brian M 21 day ago +12

    I’m not a pessimist or doom and gloom person at all. I’m an optimist but also a realist.

  • Michael C
    Michael C  +36

    There is an assumption that this will follow some smooth curve across all societies (assuming society as a singular). I don’t think you can use this in a singular sense and thus more than likely there will be uneven punctuated collapses of societies (plural). This will lead to more immigration (the economic immigrants, the climate change immigrants, the war taxed immigrants, etc) and thus more uneven punctuations in collapse based on these population shifts and taxing of those resources in the new emigrated areas. Uneven health care and effects by more pandemics (big and small), pollution (unevenly distributed or at least the affects from pollution) etc. will create larger shifts in a society (singular) causing further uneven punctuations even within in singular societies. Thus, what I think this means is that life will get more uncomfortable for some (even in modern societies) and far more comfortable for others in that same society. So, I think being a king (like an Elon Musk) in this future will actually be better than it is now while a middle class suburbanite will be far worse (even if only separated by less than 10 miles geographically). I don’t know we can view modern society collapses through the same lens as the collapses of past civilizations. Like global warming, we are already seeing collapses of societies and uneven distribution as to how individuals in those societies are affected by these circumstances. We don’t have to wait until 2040, it is happening (unevenly and in punctuated ways) in 2021.

  • Brash Adventures

    I'm currently reading Foundation by Asimov and the correlation with the simulations ran by MIT vs Psychohistory are interesting.

  •  ShortHax

    Maybe electing people who won’t be alive for society’s collapse isn’t such a bright idea